Humanitarian Policy

Humanitarian agencies must work together to provide a predictable, coordinated, well-resourced and holistic response to serve the needs of affected populations. InterAction supports these efforts through representing the humanitarian community in the important policy discussions over how best to respond to conflicts and natural disasters. 

In the United States, InterAction advocates for the robust funding of humanitarian assistance accounts in the U.S. budget, including the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) and the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) accounts. See our budget and appropriations page for more details.

InterAction also educates policymakers in Congress and the U.S. government about the importance of prioritizing the needs of the displaced and most vulnerable in responses to crises around the world. 

Internationally, supported by our members and working groups, InterAction participates in the work of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC). The IASC is a global platform composed of humanitarian agencies, with both UN and non-UN actors represented. The IASC develops humanitarian policies that guide response, reviews emerging trends and gaps, and advocates for effective application of humanitarian principles.

In support of NGO engagement with the World Humanitarian Summit, InterAction developed a clearinghouse that provides a snapshot of what NGOs have done to date regarding their participation (in consultations, thematic teams or expert groups) and also what contributions have been submitted to the WHS, with a list of key messages.

Ongoing efforts to support member involvement in priority humanitarian policy areas InterAction recently launched an NGO space on A space ‘for NGOs by NGOs’, the NGO coordination page allows for the sharing of information specific to operational NGO interests and needs as related to the humanitarian ‘architecture’ or system. Also included are links to the FAQs on the Humanitarian Architecture, self-guided presentations and NGOs papers on the architecture.

In support of NGO learning, InterAction has contracted a review of NGO risk analysis and mitigation. Intended to provide empirical evidence to inform the current discussions related to the changing nature of humanitarian response, it is envisioned that as a result of the review NGOs will have a greater understanding of the individual risks facing them as organizations, including which may be inter-related and which may be falsely conflated. The review will also develop recommendations, drawn from peer learning, on how to manage risk more effectively, both as a member of the humanitarian NGO sector and also as part of the wider humanitarian system.

Previous work also includes a research initiative examining the role of NGOs within humanitarian leadership, an update on current events within the IASC and an infographic on an informal survey designed to gauge NGO perceptions on the Transformative Agenda. 

InterAction is also actively engaged in global initiatives which guide and monitor the quality and accountability of humanitarian response. These include the Sphere ProjectALNAP (The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action) and the Global Humanitarian Platform.